If you're a fully-fledged bookworm, it's safe to say that you might just consider your favourite writers and novelists akin to rock stars of the literary world. And where better to make like a rock star than by paying a visit to the very hotels where they wined and dined, let inspiration hit or simply holed up away from the glare of writer's block?
Sup. I am back from the Edinburgh Comedy Festival. (I am aware they do more than comedy, but frankly I have never seen a show there not starring a comedian so refuse to admit it, sorry dancers/ actors/ acrobats.)
In the Hong Kong district of Sham Shui Po, Kowloon side, the market stalls play host to many a social gathering. Groups of older men, stylish in aviators, crisp white, or pastel, short-sleeved shirts and tailored trousers, stand in a cloud of imperial leather, discussing, well...I rarely know. But sometimes there's a clue in the shape of racing forms being passed around, or a grandchild being proudly held aloft - a champion at a sporting event.
Times goes at a different rate in the country. It seems only yesterday that we drove out beyond the M25, and the cat pooped on my lap, and we began our new life in a house of flies and dirt and no door-handles. It was actually ten months ago.
This will be my third time and I am really looking forward to it. Not just the week, but the travel experience since I am simply 2 trains away from Brussels, traveling on the Eurostar. It is a little known fact that wheelchair users always travel first class on the Eurostar, which is always a nice start and finish to my week.
I've always loved Italy. I love the sunshine, the people, the food... What's not to adore about the sun-soaked cities and rural landscapes?
The food was excellent, as expected. The wine was even better, again as expected. It was however the cities, the intricacies of their designs, the details of their architectures alongside the views witnessed from the hilltops in Chianti that really stole the show. I thoroughly recommend you all take a Tour of Tuscany.
Everyone knows Paris. Many daydream of Provence. And the Côte d'Azur is widely known and coveted as the playground of the rich and famous. But have you heard of the Dordogne Valley?
On a recent trip across America, I naturally felt like a stranger in a strange land. Things have moved on and changed a lot during the years of my travels. But some things never change, and I found myself in hundreds of casual conversations across the continent, engaging in the same sort of message repeatedly, a message about things I never knew when I grew up there...
Sure enough, as I step foot inside Daios Cove the wow factor hits. Nestled in a tranquil private sandy bay, a short ride from the bustling town of Agios Nikolaos, a wall of floor to ceiling windows creates a stunning elevated panoramic of the crystal clear turquoise waters and rugged cliffs that don the bay.
When we asked people to give us advice about going to Brazil, everyone always mentioned Rio de Janeiro. Rio this, Rio that, just go to Rio. But no one really said much about São Paulo. It seemed like people didn't really go there much. As our cab weaved through traffic in São Paulo's city center, our virgin eyeballs take in the first impressions of this rarely recommended city.
When I was preparing to go and after my return, I started to notice that people asked me the same questions over and over again. And some of them popped up in Guyana too. So I've drawn up a list of the main questions I was asked about being a volunteer - just to clear a few things up - volunteer myth-busters!
A brilliant young cook called Lucy, the daughter of the cookery writer Jane Lovett, turns out amazing dinners of grilled prawns, tuna nicoise (the finest I've had; from locally caught fish, seasoned hard and given the merest charring from the grill), lamb tagine, soft slices of pork in a tuna sauce and chicken with peppers and lime.
Ecuador's underlying ethos is a good one, one which could provide a blueprint of responsibility and sustainability for the rest of the world to follow. But as oil demands increase, the emphasis on environmental protection faces huge threats.
Luxembourg City lies in the broken jaws of a giant dragon. These are the Marquis de Vauban's great ramparts and buttresses. Perched above deep gorges the citadel is girded with miles of saw- toothed stone, impregnable and massive.
Well, actually two books. The first - an illuminated Hebrew manuscript from the 15th century. The other - a novel by prize-winning Australian-born author Geraldine Brooks. The two books converged in Sarajevo and I was compelled to visit.